Learning by doing
Prato, IT

ECÒL is  a multidisciplinary practice and research platform based in Italy. Led by Emanuele Barili, Cosimo Balestri, Olivia Gori, the studio develops unconventional strategies upon observation and study of each project’s specific context. Led by the desire to create exciting and interactive domains of expression, they use geometry as a tool to intuitively address human reactions and trigger spontaneous social engagement.


A new domain of expression

We (Emanuele, Cosimo and Olivia) have been collaborating since 2012. After our studies we started to develop a series of urban regeneration interventions together, following the shared need to create something that could have a real impact on the city and its communities. We started in the neighbourhood of Macrolotto 0 in Prato, a place characterised by a complete lack of public space and strong social pressure, here in 2015, the studio designed its first project, Piazza dell’Immaginario, featuring the transformation of a small and neglected parking lot into a public space.


Hacking Didier Faustino Fuza

In 2017, before leaving Italy to develop two projects, the first one in Vienna and the second one in Taipei, we needed to test a new method and way of working with temporary materials. The contemporary art museum from our city gave us the opportunity to test our design on their outdoor amphitheatre, only that once we got there, the space was occupied by a large sculpture by Didier Faustino, we decided to readapt all drawings in loco and work around the unforeseen situation, the lesson learned was helpful since both following projects presented a series of uncalculated surprises!


Learning by doing

We develop a large variety of work, kept together by the design process and our personal vision of the world. We like to collaborate with professionals from different fields, and always like to keep relations with colleagues open and fun. We grow personally everyday by dealing together with different work and life related issues and try to maintain an ongoing dialog on how to improve our personal and professional life style. 


A public space as a studio

Our office is inside an old 300 sqm warehouse in Prato, Italy. The space we manage is divided into two main areas, a large open space that we have used throughout the years to host cultural events, debates, parties and other kinds of social gatherings and a second area, a 30 sqm box where we work as a design studio. Inside the office, we have two main branches of work,  Architecture and Graphic Design,  and we like to blend the line between them.


Find yourself

For us it is not so much about expectation and reality, but more about who you are and where you are. We try to face different types of commissions with an open mind and with a learning by doing approach, also interests are very different among us so we don’t have many set boundaries as to what we imagined the studio to be, we try to build it as we go aiming at creating a place that best reflects our approach to design and contemporary issues.


Keep on keeping on

This is, for the most part, a complicated job, maybe a little tougher that we imagined, yes. But it is also an incredible opportunity to express yourself in the world, meet people and participate with your own vision. We try and balance best we can dreams and reality and are constantly talking about ways to organize workflow and project managing both short and long term. We see the studio as an ongoing  project itself so we never stop working at it.

1. ECOL ProfilePicture HiRes 2 Emanuele Barili

Photography Courtesy of ECÒL

2. ph Mattia Modica Emanuele Barili

Photography Mattia Modica

3. ph Agnese Morganti Emanuele Barili

Photography Agnese Morganti

4. ph Maria Noisternig Emanuele Barili

Photography Maria Noisternig

5. ph Luca Ficini Emanuele Barili

Photography Luca Ficini

a project powered by Itinerant Office

subscribe to our newsletter

follow us